The state will pay a total of $250,000 to a whistleblower, a co-worker and their attorney in a document-shredding case involving the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The parties reached a settlement that will pay $142,500 to Sharon Leahy-Lind and $22,500 to her co-worker Katie Woodbury, according to a report in the Lewiston Sun Journal on Tuesday.

Their attorney, Cynthia Dill, will be paid $85,000 for her legal fees.

Reached Tuesday night for comment, Dill said she could not discuss any part of the settlement. Leahy-Lind could not be reached. Calls to David Sorensen, spokesman for the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, were not returned.

The Sun Journal reported that the women’s lawsuit sought compensation, punitive damages, legal fees and a declaration that they acted lawfully.

Documents obtained from U.S. District Court on Tuesday say that the plaintiffs’ claim has been dismissed. But the filing does not elaborate on the details of the settlement.


Leahy-Lind and Woodbury claimed in their whistleblower lawsuit that supervisors retaliated against them after they refused to shred public documents.

As part of the settlement, the DHHS, which includes the CDC, did not admit any wrongdoing, the newspaper said. CDC Director Sheila Pinette, Deputy Director Christine Zukas and Office of Minority Health and Equity Director Lisa Sockabasin were named as defendants.

In 2013, Leahy-Lind, who was the director of the CDC’s Division of Local Public Health, said that she was ordered by her superiors to shred documents related to competitive grant awards in the Healthy Maine Partnerships program. The documents shed light on irregularities and possible illegal activity in the way certain grants were awarded.

Leahy-Lind said she was harassed and defamed for not complying with the order. Woodbury, a CDC office manager, also claimed she was retaliated against and defamed for comments she made to the Sun Journal that backed up Leahy-Lind’s claims.

The settlement was released by the DHHS in response to a Freedom of Access Act request filed by the Sun Journal.

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